California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
A United States Army Museum Activity
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Satellite and Partner Museums
Camp Roberts Historical Museum and Museum Annex
 
Post Museum

LOCATION: Camp Roberts, CA on US 101 about 12 miles north of Paso Robles or half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

HOURS OF OPERATION: Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Tours are welcome with prior reservations.

E-MAIL: crmiltmus@tcsn.net

The Camp Roberts Historical Museum consists of the Main Museum, Building 114 (originally the WWII Red Cross Headquarters) and the Museum Annex, Building 6485 (originally the WWII Post Office). The Museum complex has about 3,000 line items displayed and stored for future exhibits.

In the Main Museum you will see exhibits on training at Camp Roberts during WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom, as well as exhibits on Corporal Roberts (the Camp's namesake), the National Guard, the Women's Army Corps, the WWII railroad station, Camp Roberts celebrities, dining facilities, civilian workers, the hospital, the PX, the Soldiers Bowl, and others. There is also an extensive patch collection, a small reference library and a video viewing room. The Main Museum also has a large gift shop with books (including "The History of Camp Roberts"), WWII postcards, posters, DVDs, clothing and many other interesting items.

The Museum Annex houses our large vintage vehicle collection as well as many other exhibits, including the Camp stage shows and radio broadcasts, the Camp chapels, a WWII office, an Iraqi Republican Guard exhibit, and a large model vehicle collection.

Group Tours
The Museum is always eager to accommodate group tours. Our volunteers are very conscientious and eager to host groups who cannot make it on our normal days, Thursday and Saturday. Recently, we have accommodated tours for a history group led by a Professor Emeritus of CalPoly, Special Education classes from Paso Robles High School, US Naval Sea Cadets, the Model A Club, the Military Vehicle Collectors Club, a motorcycle tour group, and others. If your tour group, veterans group or civic club would like a special tour of the Museum, please contact the Director/Curator, Gary McMaster, at (805) 286-6431, to make arrangements.

To view some of the exhibits at Camp Roberts, CLICK HERE!

 

News Flashes!

 Community Involvement

Involvement in our local community is very important to the Camp Roberts Museum.  We do our best to represent Camp Roberts and to relate its important history in many ways: by appearing in local parades driving historical vehicles, setting up a booth at community events, giving presentations to local civic groups, recognizing supporters in the community, and maintaining a close affiliation with the other museums and historical societies as a Charter Member of the North County Historical Co-Op (NCHC), .

 

Museum Director and Curator Gary McMaster at the starting line-up for the annual Sagebrush Days Parade in San Miguel, California, with a 1943 Willys MB.  San Miguel was a boomtown during the construction of Camp Roberts in 1940-41.
 
Jim Overman (right) of NBC and Gary Napier (left) represent the Camp Roberts Museum at the annual Fort MacArthur Days in San Pedro, California
 
Museum Director Gary McMaster presents a special plaque to Museum Corporate Sponsors Louis and Susane Feola, owners of Boatman’s Furniture in Paso Robles

 A Fresh Look at a Hero

On Saturday, August 23rd, we had the official unveiling of Corporal Roberts’ new portrait by artist Dean Gleisberg.  The artist and his wife were on hand for the event, with several other dignitaries, museum staff, and many interested visitors.   A talk was given by Gary McMaster and Dirk Hale, followed by the artist relating his experiences painting the portrait, then the unveiling itself.  A complimentary lunch was provided for all of the day’s visitors.

 Corporal Roberts’ new portrait was unveiled on Saturday, 23 August 2008 to a large audience at the Camp Roberts Museum
 

The new painting has now replaced the earlier Runyon painting in the original frame, and hangs as the centerpiece of the “Roberts / Seifert Family Parlor.” The Parlor showcases the life of the Camp’s namesake who lost his life at age twenty-two in the Argonne Offensive of World War I—the largest and bloodiest battle in American military history—and was awarded the Medal of Honor, our Nation’s highest honor.  Artist Gleisberg researched the Argonne Offensive in order to paint the Renault TF-17 tanks in combat in the painting and other details.

Director/Curator McMaster with artist Dean Gleisberg (right) in the Roberts Family Parlor

The “Roberts / Seifert Family Parlor” is full of family photos and period furnishings.  Nearing completion, it is a bit like stepping back in time to enter the heart of his family home and get an insight into his life.

We wish to thank everyone who donated money for the new portrait.  Their names are engraved on a special plaque beside the painting.

Corporal Roberts devotees Rob Monji of Bakersfield and his pal, Alain Baubat of Bar-de-Luc, France, have recently visited the area in northern France where Roberts was first laid to rest, and have provided us with some more great information and photos on this.  Rob was the first to visit Corporal Roberts’ grave in France and to bring back a photograph of the gravesite for the Museum several years ago.

Corporal Roberts’ Biography

The complete biography of Corporal Harold W. Roberts, The Ultimate Sacrifice, is now available in the Camp Roberts Museum Gift Shop.   Compiled and written by the Museum’s Director/Curator, it is the culmination of more than a year of research.  Prior to that, the Museum had a mere two pages on this hero’s life—a young man who had lived through the Great San Francisco Earthquake as a child, suffered his mother’s early death, attended college, traveled in Mexico and served in the Cavalry in the Philippines before volunteering for the new Tank Corps and shipping out to France.  The effective documentation of his life was deemed crucial, although both his birth records and military records had been destroyed in devastating fires.  With the help of genealogists and researchers combing 100-year-old census records, receipt of records from the National Archives, trips to his birth city, orginal after-action reports on his battalion’s actions from the University of North Dakota, and documents from many other sources, his biography was finally fully completed and published.  It is now on sale in the Camp Roberts Museum Gift Shop. (26 Nov 08)

 New or Updated Pages

The Camp Roberts Museum is proud to announce the addition or updating of the following pages (26 Nov 08):
Camp Roberts Soldier Bowl
 

 The World's Youngest Tank Commander?

Eleven-year-old Samuel Bisares is the proud and happy winner of a 3-foot long radio- controlled M1A2 Abrams Tank. The tank was the Grand Prize in a FREE Museum drawing for ALL KIDS during the Camp Roberts Open House activities on Saturday, May 5, 2007.

Sam's dad (who coincidently had been a tank crewman in the Regular Army) brought lucky Sam down from Salinas to attend the Open House. Both the Main Museum and Museum Annex exhibit buildings were swamped with visitors who came to celebrate Camp Roberts' 66th Anniversary.

The Museum was also host to World War II American, German and Russian re-enactors who educated visitors on their weapons and period vehicles. Upwards of 2,000 visitors came for the big barbeque lunch, an array of current Army vehicles, a jump house, hands-on weapons simulators, and scores of civic and veterans group booths with games and give-away items

Camp Roberts Museum Opens Display on Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger:

Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, was one of the early soldiers to attend Army Basic Training at Camp Roberts in 1941--as the Camp was still nearing completion.


The fake rifle and hand grenades crafted from wood that the Army provided him and his fellow trainees made a lasting impression on him. When he became Secretary of Defense he was a crusader in providing the military with proper state-of-the-art weapons and equipment. After Basic Training at Camp Roberts, he attended OCS and was commissioned as an Army Officer. He also met and married Mrs. Weinberger, an Army nurse, in the South Pacific during World War II. The Weinberger Family graciously provided personal effects and photographs for this informative exhibit. To view the display, CLICK HERE
(1/17/07)
 

 New Book on Camp Roberts

The California Center for Military History is proud to announce the publishing of its latest book on the history of Camp Roberts. Order now by clicking here. And, don't forget our first book on Camp San Luis Obispo
 
 The Museum was also the site for filming of an episode of History Channel's ‘Conquorers’ series dealing with the Battle of Berlin and Russian General Zhukov, which aired in the Spring of 2006. The Camp Roberts Historical Museum has a firm commitment, with the help of the Camp Roberts Public Affairs Office, of continued cooperation with film companies, television networks, local area television stations, historical reenactment groups, historical research groups and other museums, in order to better relate the sacrifices of our soldiers to the general public.
 

 Railroad History Comes Alive at the Museum!

An HO-scale replica of the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot that served Camp Roberts during World War II (and presumably through the Korean War) is the most recent addition to the Camp Roberts Historical Musuem. The depot was located on the East side of Highway 101 across from the Camp's Main Gate. At that time, Highway 101 was a 2-lane highway. With all the Army troops coming and going, this depot was the busiest stop on the Southern Pacific's coastal route during World War II.

Also in exhibit--located in the Main Museum--is an original Southern Pacific poster of the Camp Roberts train schedule, Camp Roberts train tickets from WWII, depot photos and other Southern Pacific Railroad artifacts.

The builder of the scale model train layout is Leonard Formosa, a member of the Atascadero Model Railway Club. MSG Formosa is a retired Master Sergeant who served in tank battalions of the California Army National Guard, retiring from fulltime duty as a Master Gunner. He generously built this wonderfully detailed recreation of the historic railway depot for the Museum--bringing Camp Roberts' railway history alive for all to see!

 
A film crew from NBC's Today Show recently visited the Camp Roberts Historical Museum to film a segment for their show. The segment deals with the Korean War period at Camp Roberts, and includes interviews with Army Korean War veterans and the presentation to the Pacheco family of their grandfather's wallet which was left at Camp Roberts during his training here.

The Museum was also the site of a recent filming of an episode of History Channel's Conquorers series dealing with the Battle of Berlin, which aired this last Spring. The Camp Roberts Historical Museum has a firm commitment, with the help of the Camp Roberts Public Affairs Office, of continued cooperation with film companies, television networks, local area television stations, historical reenactment groups, historical research groups and other museums, in order to better relate the sacrifices of our soldiers to the general public.
 
Private Red Skelton arriving at Camp Roberts
 
The Camp Roberts Historical Museum would like to announce a brand new exhibit dealing with the Army duty of comedy legend Red Skelton, star of the Camp Roberts Entertainment Troupe during World War II. This great American, already a major radio and film star when he was drafted in 1944, was inprocessed at Fort MacArthur (San Pedro), then was sent to Camp Roberts for Army Basic Training and assignment to Camp Roberts' Field Artillery Replacement Training Center. He spent most his time here performing for his fellow soldiers in MGM stage shows and stand-up routines at the main theater and the Soldiers Bowl. The new exhibit recreates his barracks area with personal effects and many photos and other items from his stage shows, in addition to relating humorous situations from his Army time spent at Camp Roberts.
 
This exhibit on Red Skelton's time at Camp Roberts was made possible with the cooperation of the Indiana State Military Museum and the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center at Vincennes University.
 


 
World War II Reenactors!
CLICK HERE!
 

How You Can Help

Did you train or work at Camp Roberts?

The Camp Roberts Historical Museum is always looking for personal accounts from soldiers (and civilians) who did their training at Camp Roberts or worked here in a staff capacity. Would you like a unique opportunity to share the story of your service here with future generations? If you are interested, you can share the story of those experiences by writing or recording them and sending the document or recording to: Camp Roberts Historical Museum, Building 114, Camp Roberts, CA 93451-5000. We are interested in hearing about your experiences at Camp Roberts, and also your later experiences--especially if you were sent overseas in war time. The Museum also accepts donations of items of significant historical interest to Camp Roberts. These items include personal papers, letters, scrapbooks, diaries, memoirs, photographs, uniform items, personal correspondence, military newspapers and articles, regulations and manuals, unit histories and other books, professional military journals, maps, soldier art and unit insignia.

You can also share your experiences in World War II, Korea or Vietnam by taking part in the U.S. Army Military History Institute (MHI) survey by going to the veterans questionnaire section at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usamhi/index.htm, or by calling them at (717) 245-3971.

You can also share your story through the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project. They are collecting and archiving recollections of wartime veterans to share them with future generations. To get involved in this project, visit them on the web at http://www.loc.gov/veterans, call (888) 371-5848, or write them at: Veterans History Project, The Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20540-4615.

Your unique military experiences are wanted and needed, and will provide much to future generations!

 

Museum Annex and Armored Vehicle Collection
 
Memorials
 
Vehicles on Display
Under Restoration

Camp Roberts consists of over 43,000 acres of training facilities which were constructed in 1940. Over 434,000 men were trained at Camp Roberts and another 300,000 were trained during the Korean War.

Korean War Display

There is no admission, but contributions are gladly accepted.

For more information on the Camp Roberts Historical Museum--or to arrange a group tour--please call the Museum at (805) 238-8288 when it is open, or call the Curator, Gary McMaster, at (805) 237-8471 during off hours. Our mailling address is:

Camp Roberts Historical Museum
Bldg 114
Camp Roberts, CA 93451-5000

To request iformation, please complete the Camp Roberts Historical Museum Research Request Form

To view the history of Camp Roberts, CLICK HERE

Updated 26 Nov 08


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